A Children’s Pastor Is A Mentor

Ephesians 4:12   Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.

Mentor: a trusted counselor or guide, a coach

Effective children’s pastors are mentors. Another word for mentor is guide or coach. They take time to equip children, workers, and parents under their care. But you can’t mentor everyone. Jesus had many followers but only 12 disciples. He spent most of His time pouring into 3 of those 12 – John, Peter, and James. We can teach and pastor a great number of children and workers. But we need to limit who we mentor or coach. We need to pray and ask God who we should pour ourselves into, who we should mentor.


A children’s pastor is an evangelist, shepherd, and teacher to all children in his or her ministry. But a children’s pastor should also choose a few who love the Lord and show spiritual growth to become a mentor to. This should be your ministry team. Teach these children to minister in your children’s service. Teach them to be prayer warriors and altar workers. Give them responsibilities for ministry. Pour yourself into them. Spend time with them. Have a time you meet with them regularly and train them. This link talks more about how to do that.


Depending on how large your worker force is will determine how you go about this. If you have 20 or 30 workers or more under you, you’ll want a ministry team or no more than 10 that you mentor. That team will in turn mentor 5 to 10 people under them. If you have a small children’s ministry, you can mentor all of your workers. To mentor, you don’t only want to do teacher training. Mentoring involves developing relationships and having meetings where those you coach have a safe place to voice their concerns and contribute with ideas and planning.


You may have the opportunity to mentor a few parents on how to parent and incorporate spirituality into their childrens’ lives. Have resources available, but again, the most important aspect of mentoring is developing a relationship with parents.

Frustrations In Children’s Minsitry: Not So Well Meaning People

Sooner or later, every minister and every Christian comes across someone who comes against them with a vengeance. I’m not talking about a person who means well but just doesn’t understand. I’m talking about someone who means you harm. This is an attack from the enemy. Sometimes the person will use outright attacks. More often he or she will go behind the scene to attack your character and right to lead with gossip, innuendo, and outright lies. Unfortunately many times, this person will be or claim to be a Christian. Sometimes the attack will come from a friend. Whatever the case, it will happen, and when it does, it will devastate you. Here’s what to do when it does.

Recognise the spirit behind it. This is not a personal attack. It’s a spiritual attack. Don’t pray against the person being used. Pray against the spirit behind it.

Ephesians 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Understand it happens to everyone. Jesus was betrayed by Judas, his disciple and one of his best friends. When this happened, his other friends deserted him. He understands the pain. Give it to him.

Pray for the offender. This is essential to allow God to move on your behalf.

Matthew 5:44-45  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…

Do not take offense. When you allow offense to take root in your heart, you’re giving a foothold to the devil. Let go of the offense, not for the offender’s sake, but for your sake. 

Ephesians 4:26-27  Be angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. 

Communicate with your senior pastor. It’s important when a situation like this happens that you let your senior pastor know what’s going on. It’s up to him how he wants to handle it, but he needs to know the information to decide what to do about it.

Let God defend you. 

2 Chronicles 20:15  This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 

Isaiah 59:19  …When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

Remember that God is on your side. Don’t defend yourself. Let God defend you.

Frustrations In Children’s Ministry: Well Meaning Parents

One of the biggest frustrations children’s pastors have is well meaning parents. Here’s some examples.

  • Parents who are hit and miss about the children’s attendance.
  • Parents who expect children’s pastors to be responsible for children’s spiritual growth.
  • Parents who put sports and other activities above church.
  • Parents who punish children by not allowing them to attend church events.
  • Parents who have constant complaints about how you run the children’s ministry.
  • Parents who allow children to stay up late, don’t feed them breakfast, and bring them to church hungry and tired.

It’s difficult to deal with parents like these, but there are some guidelines you need to remember. First, parents are the ones who are responsible to God for their children. You, as the children’s pastor, should never circumvent the parent’s authority or try to take the place of the parent. You are there to assist the parent. You can do this in the following ways.

Pray for parents. Parents have difficult jobs raising children in the world today. The best thing you can do is pray for them and to let them know you’re praying for them.

Recognize that even though parents make mistakes, even the worst parents love their children and want what’s best for them. Tell parents what they’re doing right or that you know what a difficult job they have.

Open House and Open Door. A great way to develop a team effort between parents and children’s pastors is an open door policy. Invite parents to visit children’s church and classes to observe whenever they want. Also have special open houses where parents are invited to be a part of children’s church. For safety reasons, remind parents they’re there to observe only, and always have an adult children’s worker present.

Communicate with parents. Let them know what’s happening in children’s ministry and successes you have with their children. One of the best ways to communicate with parents is to get to know them. Build a relationship with them.

Give parents resources to help them. Have resources available when parents ask for help with devotions or helping their children grow spiritually. But also have resources available for other needs. There are books, pamplets, and organizations that help parents with problems such as AHDD, learning disabilities, discipline problems, and other special needs. You could also have resources available for free health care, school supplies, housing, and other financial needs. One great resource is a fun day for kids on occasion that allows parents to take advantage of free babysitting.

Invite parents to help. This is a great way to get parents on board as a part of the team. They may not be teachers, but they might want to help as monitors, or as extra help at children’s ministry events. They might even have skills that will benefit you such as sewing, computer, secretarial, carpentry, photography, audio/technical, cooking, baking, etc. Make sure to have a screening policy in effect before doing this. Not all parents should work with children.

With a little effort, the parents in your children’s ministry will be on board and consider you a part of the team. When that happens, you’ll have the ability to help the parents see what they can do to help you minister to their children.

Frustrations In Children’s Ministry: Well Meaning Parishioners

There are many frustrations in children’s ministry. Most don’t have to do with children, but with the perceptions adults have that put roadblocks in the way of the hard working children’s pastors. This week I’m doing a series on some of these frustrations. Today is well meaning parishioners.

A well meaning parishioner comes downstairs and says, “You missed a great service. It’s a shame you had to be downstairs with the children.” A great way to counteract this is to tell the parishioner what a great service he missed and talk for fifteen minutes about the triumphs and successes you’ve had recently in children’s church. It may not help the parishioner “get it”. He may walk away with a confused look on his face. But he probably won’t say that to you again.

A well meaning parishioner comes to you to thank you for babysitting the children so the adults can enjoy service. This may be the right time to explain in a polite way that you’re not a babysitter. These children are developing relationships with God at an early age, and you’re blessed to be a part of what God is doing in their lives. Invite the parishioner to come see what happens every week in children’s ministry. It might open his eyes.

A well meaning parishioner says he doesn’t understand why the church wastes time with children’s church now days. In his day, children sat with their parents, and they knew they better behave. You may not be able to reason with this parishioner. But you can reassure him that you are not watering down the gospel in children’s church. You are doing your best to minister to these children in a way that draws them into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.

Why go to all the trouble to educate these well meaning parishioners? Most of them won’t get it when you’re done. Some of you might wonder if it’s not better to ignore these people. I don’t believe it is. As a children’s pastor, one of your jobs is to be an advocate for children’s ministry and to educate the congregation as to what happens in children’s ministry and why it’s an important ministry for people to invest time and money into.

Communicating With Parents

Communicating with parents in children’s ministry is always a challenge, but it is important. Here’s a few ideas to make communicating with parents easier.

Weekly Pages: Send home a weekly page or notice letting parents know what you’re teaching their children. Some parents will throw it away which is discouraging, but for parents who want to do devotions with their children, it will help them get on the same page with what their children are learning in church.

Monthly Newsletter: Send home a monthly newsletter to the parents letting them know about upcoming events in children’s ministry. In the newsletter, you can also include birthdays, bios of your children’s ministry teams, and memory verses for the coming month.

Visit Homes: Visitation is a great way to get to know parents and students. Why not set up a schedule of visitations so that you’ve visited every student’s home at least once a year? If you have a large children’s ministry, you can share the responsibility of visiting with your team.

Phone Calls: Phone calls are not as good as visitations but are still a great way to get to know parents. Make a list of what you’d like to discuss during the calls, and ask parents if they have any questions or concerns.

Open House: Send invitations out to parents inviting them to visit children’s church for an open house. This way they can see a little more of what your doing with their children.

Parent Meetings: It’s good to have parent meetings about once a quarter so you can share with them what’s coming up. It’s also a good time to get their ideas and feedback.

Parent Handbook: Make up a handbook to give to new parents to inform them a little more about the children’s ministry. In the handbook, you can include policies, your qualifications, vision, and your goals for the spiritual developement of their children.